You Must Be Present to Win

I am one of those lucky people that always wins the raffle. It's so bad that when I attend fundraisers I rarely buy a raffle ticket because I feel embarrassed going to a charity event and winning prizes.

Photo by Bradley P. Johnson on Flickr.

Photo by Bradley P. Johnson on Flickr.

I have won all kinds of things from golf clubs, fruit baskets, flowers, trips, etc. Life, in some ways, is like a raffle; we buy a ticket, take the ride and sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. I think raffles teach us all we need to know. The raffles I have won have the same requirement: You must be present to win! Isn’t that also true about life?

Raffles are like life, you must be present to win.

Since being present is so critical to winning, I have developed a few ideas that have helped me be more present. Here are 6 strategies to stay present so you can win:

1. Enjoy your work.

Slugging through life waiting for the weekend is a miserable way to exist. Most people spend more time at work than anywhere else. Make the most of your current work situation, even if it is not ideal.

Grow where you are planted.

2. Hocus pocus, you got to focus.

Block out periods of time for focus. Modern day life offers so many ways to get distracted. One technique I use to focus is to set a timer and work on a task for 20-25 minutes, take a short break, then reset the timer. This allows me to break the work into bite-sized pieces.

Hocus pocus, you got to focus.

3. Breathe deeply.

For the past few years my parting words to friends has been, "Breathe deeply." It has served as a reminder for me to do the same. Do it right now; take a few deep breaths and find ways to remind yourself to breathe throughout your day.

4. Say no.

Learn to say no so you don't find yourself overwhelmed. It is impossible to be present when you are overwhelmed. Saying no to things that don't serve your goals helps you be more present.

Say no with a smile on your face.

5. Keep things simple.

When things get complicated, take time to simplify. If you break things down, there is nothing complicated in the world. Remember, complexity is merely a bunch of simple things put together. Discipline yourself to simplify.

6. What's important now?

Stay present by asking yourself: What’s Important Now?

What suggestions do you have for staying present?